Math ColloquiumDecember 2, 2011
Our last Math Colloquium of the semester will be on Tuesday, December 6, at 3:30 p.m. in VH1224. Mike Munn from the University of Missouri at Columbia will be here to speak on as well as answer questions about graduate study at Mizzou. As usual, refreshments will be provided!
Informally speaking, Topology is the mathematical study of the idea of “shape”. One of the basic problems of Topology is to do determine when two objects have essentially the same shape in the sense that one object can be continuously deformed into the other without tearing or puncturing it. One of the oldest conjectures in Topology is the Poincare conjecture. According to Wolfram MathWorld, the conjecture roughly says that “the three-sphere is the only type of bounded three-dimensional space possible that contains no holes.”
The Poincare conjecture was one of the Clay Mathematics Institute’s $ 1 million dollar prize problems, and was eventually solved by Perelman in 2003. In this Colloquium Professor Munn will give an introductory talk describing the Poincare Conjecure, the idea of the Ricci flow, and Perelman’s proof aimed at undergraduates. He will also be available to answer questions about graduate study in mathematics at the University of Missouri at Collumbia.